Further Studies in Existentialism /3

  1. Most nights I go outside to check, the moon is still there. Someone somewhere else might be doing the same thing.


  1. The owl has not yet returned from its stint somewhere else or is a casualty of the widening of the field.


  1. I have nothing but the rain tonight.


  1. Saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t usually set the record straight.


  1. Events are weighted with attitude and intent, maybe some emotion, a backdrop of crying or cello.


  1. The city of “if” is a place where shadows escort light.


  1. The bored cat might trip you; tie a ribbon to the chair at the very least.


  1. There is a need for human interaction, conversation; sometimes even touch.


  1. Simplicity can undo complexity, offering one thread from the sweater you don’t need.


  1. Take the thread you hang by some hours and bravely, sew up the wounds.


  1. Isn’t it strange, how much is attributed to the organ of the heart?


  1. I love you, sky, with all my pancreas.
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Further Studies in Existentialism /4

  1. The refrain of rain returns the gutter-staccato. The birds will be happy with tomorrow’s easier worm-catch, especially the baby red-heads, cardinals perhaps, still on a learning curve.


  1. Weeds will pull out more easily with the proper determination, stamina, and garden tools. Don’t be overwhelmed. The neighbors do not know.


  1. Some nights sets of thoughts will tangle and avalanche. Years can do that, too. The musical score stops, and it will be too quiet without the rain—just the heightened confusion of what to throw away.


  1. The tests mandated hit the core of exposure.


  1. There should be a spiritual car wash, an MRI. Chronic depression and/or anxiety can be deadly. Stay awake and/or breathe. The city of “this” has everything you need, tell yourself.


  1. Identity can seem definitive. Too many days or months running or receding in the wrong direction without sight of some better trajectory. Have some ice cream. There is always TV. Forgive the mirror, your labyrinth, the psychological plan crash.


  1. What sign are you? Tell me everything, but you don’t say a word.


  1. A “we” can often be a mask of two different eyes. A baby was just born without any.


  1. Not everyone has the same playing field.


  1. I am learning to hold the dealt cards closer to my breastbone and refrain from safety-pinning emotions on the sleeves through the skin.


  1. Tomorrow I will wake up happier.


  1. New shoes may help, but don’t forget to pay the IRS before interest accrues.
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Further Studies in Existentialism /1

  1. Maybe if I could write a poem, the day wouldn’t seem so meaningless; the rain wouldn’t give back so many unwanted memories.
  2. I gave someone a city. He built a golden wall around it and didn’t offer a key.
  3. My father appeared in a dream in my oversleep and told me he wanted to jump. I offered him a vacation in the next dream, but he couldn’t climb the stairs.
  4. Maybe if I had made different choices, I wouldn’t be in this predicament. The dog would be walked more and there would be more friends, better endings to stanzas.
  5. This is a turning point—only if I turn.
  6. The sickness doesn’t go away. Animals will hide until they die.
  7. No one likes a sad ending or to hear the same thing over and over.
  8. There are keys to other cities one can build or find. Beautiful cities called “if” and “only,” “this” and “that.”
  9. Someone sang me a song in a voice clip, and I felt visible despite the rain and metaphorical homelessness.
  10. The rain kept washing everything away except the dreams of my father and the cities I gave away.
  11. Tomorrow I will be braver.
  12. Tomorrow I will not feel sorry for myself.


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Further Studies in Existentialism /2

  1. I set the table, but no one joined me for the ultimate conversation.
  2. Fools lie under the night sky without blankets waiting for answers.
  3. If you fail to love anything (such as the sky and river-light), you may disappear.
  4. Nothing is something to fill.
  5. I excommunicated myself from magical thinking or was that my feelings?
  6. Emotions are often a bi-product, however.
  7. I saw you when you had the epiphany: you are playing chess with just yourself.
  8. How does one explain one’s illness to another?
  9. Sometimes we swim through excrement, which a percentage of the time, must be owned.
  10. I burned down so many bridges, I became an island.
  11. The legacy will not be the resume-report card-bank account-wardrobe—just some papers with ink, notes, color—fragile as ourselves.
  12. The royal purple Japanese peony tree just might bloom this year.
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  1. I left everything at the shore because I was happy there on a day there were no reports of chemical warfare.
  2. [If this were a Pollock painting, chart the red undercurrent, then the blue.]
  3. Happy = not needing anything else
  4. [except maybe what we purport love to be
  5. that velvet container to climb inside, memorize, and transport to a ship bottle to ward off the blues
  6. one’s inner horses stopped or stuck. Unattended.
  7. The ability to do anything definitive or fun with the confidence of performers.]
  8. Now, there is even less—silk running past the bullet-proof glass we live behind, passwords that no one remembers but that can easily be hacked.
  9. I don’t want to be so honest, but if I’m not, then everything stays the same, and there is no poem that can perform minute miracles of attention and surprise, a future pleasure, a waking up, if needed, or ability to sleep.
  10. I am writing notes for the suicide to convince otherwise.
  11. The paragraphs will be filled with sky and there is a repeating theme of the warm sunlight when riding in the heated car in winter, a white color block in a Rothko.
  12. Somewhere someone is starving. Somewhere someone is lost. Bleeding. After the earthquake [the ornate ceiling paintings have caved in] or the retaliation.
  13. Someone is praying
  14. in an unknown language of piercing sounds.


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  1. We have come here to [for]get.  The nets cannot hold.


  1. The postmodern city asks to become a heap/sequence of philosophical guesses, a checklist for the sublime.


  1. Sophisticated equipment set up on the side of the road tracks the open[ing], but wind and rain sabotage experiment. And people are unreliable—though they smile and open.


  1. Is your House [of being] an essay or multiple-choice test? True/false? It can’t be that simple, can it? But one wants any[way].


  1. The world weeps entropy, begs to enter the screen as cyber-dream; splice a film of delphinium and [t]rain, backdrop of betrayal—the dark envelope’s center of seeds.


  1. I lost myself in the poem, its brushstrokes of unsettling music—later resurfacing in the tapestry-symphony quilt. Follow my diaphanous thread.


  1. There was so much to make you experience on your own—though I knew, at times, you might miss the quotidian persona.


  1. The music doesn’t stop after the score is played [unless the pages are burned [unless the pages are burned into memory]]. It stays and stays stitched into a perpetual spiritual undoing—before the cathartic Coda of Rain.


  1. You will leave knowing more [what might mean] in and over time; the stones and [k]nots you carry tomorrow.


  1. The island of bet[rayal] and wingspan was different each time. The sea, an odd creature—with death in her mouth.


  1. The organ at the controls steers the ship of the singular, clings to the certainty of barnacle and seaweed. There is just so much.








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I hit the reset button—because my thoughts were taking too much time.

And the yellow primrose and fuchsia sweet pea were stunning—how the primrose folded in their yellow pages when the sun closed its eyes, and the fuchsia flutter stumbled up the bedroom windows, tracking its leaves. Tiny miracles against background violence.

I had said too much on a broken motherboard; threw away my memories when the keyboards were switched. Keys were broken and misplaced; cyber-links to the secrets of the universe.

Letters that needed nimble hands. So much elegant music missing still. Initials carved into birch trees—boasting indelible love, but we all know better.

And the flash drive—it could no longer hold me. I lost that, too, in the fallout of cheerful dominos. I had been winning, but the wind sliced my vanity down into pieces.

Perhaps you know how all this feels—and rubberneck, too, at the train crash and tsk tsk, it was going way too fast and the woman with all of her children piled into the careless SUV should not have been in a hurry to get her hair done.

Things come as surprises. Offering up infinitesimal glitters of sun-crash and shattered star. At night, the crickets vie with cicadas and tree frogs for the utmost attention. Before the catbird signals the rest that it is time.

I wrote in the Dictionary of Melancholia, Handbook for Fatigue, Diary of Mercurial Wanderings, Notebook of Promises to Oneself, Notebook of Modified Contingencies, Notebook of Intensities, Coda of Rain.

And slept finally in the downy clouds of my ancestors beating through my faulty emotions and chromosomes. I survived many kaleidoscopic dream fractals and other attempts at nomenclature, but with verbs.

I slept finally for days. And woke up alive.

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D I S L O C A T I O N [ S ]



Clear sky on pristine snow—equals a glaring Migraine Room with not enough doors to the mountain—too much light—too much chaos. I did touch you, but I froze. I mean I froze—and tried to touch you. The order of fractal-events—too immense. I don’t know what I mean to say anymore. I sing unstrung cello, wailing ice, and hurt animal that hides under the holly—missing the one who comforted me as if I were a frightened child on the Victorian porch during thunderstorms. Missing the one who recognizes me—in the labyrinth of my own, necessary formation—the wrought-iron patinaed, ornate bird cages. Someone with gentleness at all the rusted edges.




Weary of the ghosts in the house who do not speak, give credence [definitive]—to their strange presence. The present pivots toward tomorrow, and I am glad. At the precipice, I throw down all the cards from the remnants of the Houses we built—most lost in the Arctic winds that take the aged, poor, cocky, and unprepared. The cacophonous village of the birds at the winter feeder offer distractions and sufficient solace. I offer lamentations for the frozen bird bath, the gathering squirrels, the ornery blue jay. Oh, Mother, do not leave—do not shovel the deck. When they come for you, wait. Tell them you are busy with preparations for the future. Lock all the doors.




In my statue, the left hand has been severed and shorn. I miss it—though eternally grateful for the right. O Maker, is this folly to assist my corroded singing? I court the fluffy tails of squirrels and stalk the crows— in the bitter cold ends of January. Yes, I am moving forward—but away—from the too-bright lite-brite sun-glare of winter snow. The squirrels and crows study me from the trees. I wish they knew me better.




The shelves of the soul can grow too heavy with extraneous effects—and crash eternity’s portal. I saw it happen to you yesterday. I was in the woods with a tureen of potato soup—watching you rummage through your House for crazy glue, then packaging tape. It was very touching how you gingerly handled each fractured shard—before you assembled them—one at a time, so lovingly—into a bizarre creature you cradled in your arms. Things became awkward after that. I won’t say it. I waited under the tallest pines with three hawks—the soup at this point, cold. Until night’s indigo-velvet theater curtains plummeted. Leaving us all—in separate parts of the stage [cubby or pigeon holes, if you will]. Even more removed from ourselves and each other than usual—this Winter of Frozen Promises. Without my flashlight or phone—it took an eternity—to find my way home. When I finally arrived half-frozen—I shed all my layers of clothes. And lit a jasmine candle in your honor.




The mournful wailing of the ice hurts more today than yesterday. It has fallen much too cold—even the sparrows know how to circumvent their shadows. Through the sheerest lace curtains—the elderly woman across the street watches them alight the frozen bird bath. In front of the roiling fire, I wrote you the saddest letter—before I offered my sentences to flame.




The Arctic cold won’t leave us. I can only imagine my father, a boy of twelve—his little brother, just five; his sixteen-year-old sister, and tired forty-year-old parents—in the Siberian taiga for two long winters—taking turns, those old enough, with the other family living in their log cabin, shabby shelter—to keep the fire going enough, without wasting too much firewood—to stay warm. It is silly to hurt for them seventy-six years later—but I can’t help myself. The bitter, vociferous winds accompany me backwards through sharp corners where I don’t want to travel. Oh, Tata, Ciocia, Babcia, and Dziadek—speak to me from the other world. Tell me you are okay, even happy—and that the warm sunlight and your invisible arms—will welcome me.




The angels in the paintings seem very tired—from all their responsibilities and such demands on their timelessness. The humans, so needy—but at least grateful, for the most part—and expressive of that. Their golden hair tangles on the nails of coffins—ironic, since they comb the hair of children with their hands. You are happiest when you think they are watching you—out behind the shed chopping wood like a madman to keep your House warm enough this New Year—secretly worried about the cost to all involved—and those who will freeze. You hope they are watching when you are driving—leaning into the winding roads nervously—avoiding the exit of the crash. That they hover above when you defy sleep—needing less time alone.

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from E C H O [ E S ]

A:   I don’t understand what you’re trying to prove.

Z:   That I have – nothing – to prove.


A:   This path is shadow.

Z:   Yes, this I know




Your silence frightens me.

I search but cannot find

any travel signs to navigate

your plentitude—only yield

and stop.


Your House

has been lightless—

and I worry about you.


Yesterday I threw green

pebbles at your bedroom

window—to no avail.


Did you find

the cathedral bells and

Japanese plum peonies

I left at the garden door?




Yes, darling. The inchworm

green bells and one hundred

plum petals found me.

Buoyed me, in fact.

I have been sleeping

by the fire too many hours—

and wake with coldness

etched into every bone

and frayed nerve.


I am studying

the movement of


blazing flames—

and throw pages

[from defunct diaries

I want no one to read,

even me] to feed it—


before sleep’s goddesses

pull me under the darkness

when I wake without



Can you read these loops

of my delipidated

cursive—that even I

don’t recognize?


Pardon my silence,

darling. There is much

to attempt to comprehend

that eludes me—jumpy

sparrows—that will not


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When I wake shrouded in warm mist though it is still velvet black night holding all the frozen stars, I do not recognize what we have become.

The field where I wept with the dog in my arms; the plateau where the planes graze their inherent splendor. Wild machines pumping their lighted, heavy arms.

The bones ache as if they are becoming hollow. As if it shall be winter forever.

When I finally stand up, the knees and neck attempt to be in synch again, on the same page where I wrote those disturbing sentences about how the sea found me tangled in wild animal screeches.

There is so much I wanted to tell that I couldn’t explain. When the words cut the flesh to find their pattern of bird flight, not chaotic, not frenetic, not messy, not listless, not sorry—

I turn to gaze into internal storm as my father told me a girl should do–bravely.

So I gather my velvet blankets that soak sweats of darkest night dreams that show the way out of the labyrinth. Mazes of streets, parking garages, parking lots, road blocks, cement barriers, cul-de-sacs and déjà vus—the rusted machines I somehow construed.

At the door of the planet HELLO HELLO. Here’s a broken song for the confused, old woman who talks to her husband in the cellar at his work bench. His ghost hovering over her while she sleeps.

Someone’s wife is dying, someone’s father is dying, someone’s wife has left after twenty years without a note, packing up the furniture and children forever.

Someone or something is stroking your hair–

Returning you to the wailing, shifting ice–that reminds: what we are.

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